Baseball hasn’t been very, very good to me

A view from the Editor.

  • Friday, October 3, 2008 3:45am
  • Opinion

Baseball is on the verge of striking out. One more whiff and it’s game over, lights out. Thanks for coming and paying $5.50 for that hot dog.

Striking out with me, that is. I don’t know how you feel, but I’ve reached the end of my 33-ounce bat of patience. I don’t much feel inclined to go down with the ship as America’s pastime slowly – tortuously – sinks itself with one calamity after another, as its commissioner, Bud Selig, plays the role of Captain Ahab.

I’ve heard the rhetoric from both sides, owners and players alike. I’ve listened to Selig make one Cecil Fielder-sized claim after another.

Exhibit 1: One team won’t make payroll on Monday – Houston Chronicle, July 11. The next day, Major League Baseball officials were backing off the statement and singing “We’re in the Money.”

Exhibit 2: “I really had no choice” – Associated Press, July 10, after the All-Star Game ended in the 11th inning in a 7-7 tie.

Tie? There’s no tying in baseball. And save the blather that this was an “exhibition game.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but even in exhibition games, baseball teams play until there’s a winner.

In fact, the only time a game is called is A) weather, and only when it’s really bad, or B) Mom yells that you better get your butt inside for dinner or else you’re going to bed hungry.

Besides, an “exhibition,” according to my battered copy of the American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition, is: “1. An act of exhibiting. 2. Something exhibited. 3. A display for the public, as of art objects, industrial achievements or agricultural products.”

Sidestepping the agricultural products, to follow the logic, when one puts on a baseball exhibition one exhibits the rules governing the sport, which clearly indicate that baseball games don’t end in ties. (Thank you, Perry Mason. Now there’s a murder you must solve in the last five minutes of your television show.)

Players getting hurt is a compelling reason to stop a game. But is it compelling enough to brush back 150 years of baseball tradition, coupled with the feeble excuse, “It’s just an exhibition game”?

There were a hundred different ways Selig and his managerial brain trust could have allowed that game to end. Sure, some would have involved bending the rules a bit, but at least we wouldn’t have a tie. Didn’t we just get done sleeping through the World Cup?

Ty Cobb must be sharpening his baseball cleats in his grave.

Ending the All-Star Game early was an asinine decision. But it’s not the only one. While baseball players discuss strike deadlines, baseball owners plot lockout options. Here we have two groups, each making hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and I’m supposed to choose which side to take, which contingent to feel sorry for?

Are you kidding me?

Why should we feel sorry for these guys? Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks was dumb enough to pay Alex Rodriguez $252 million and I’m supposed to sympathize with him because maybe, just maybe, that was too much money?

Or, I should take it in stride when players who make on average $2 million a year balk at the idea of revenue sharing so small-market teams can field some semblance of a competitive squad?

Wait a second, that’s crazy talk. Because, you see, they don’t care what I think. If they did, they wouldn’t be talking about strikes and lockouts and whether their dad can beat up the other side’s dad.

I mean, why should they care what I think? I’m only one of the millions of people who buy tickets to games, purchase Major League Baseball merchandise and approve public financing of new ballparks. It’s not like we have a say in this or anything, right?

I’ve done some rough calculations, and it appears the amount of stupid decisions made in the past 10 years by Major League Baseball is the exact opposite of what it took to land Neil Armstrong on the moon.

Personally, this saga of ineptness has grown old and I find myself wondering if I shouldn’t turn my attention to another sport. NASCAR? The ESPN Great Outdoor Games? The Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee?

Golf?

Come to think of it, they did play that on the moon. So there’s one thing going for it.

Although, they haven’t banned wearing knickers.

Strike one.

Barry Rochford is editor of the Valley Record. You can reach him at (425) 888-2311, or e-mail him at barry.rochford@

valleyrecord.com.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@valleyrecord.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.valleyrecord.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Opinion

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Not much changed from what we knew on election night | Roegner

This column was due before the election was certified. However, not much… Continue reading

William Shaw is General Manager of the Snoqualmie Valley Record. Contact: wshaw@valleyrecord.com.
Let us give wings to nonprofits and charities in the Valley | William Shaw

COVID-19 and the delta variant are still casting awful shadows on our… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Public safety takes centerstage in local elections | Roegner

In Seattle and most suburban cities, the overwhelming message was that the… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Washington’s secretary of state leaves big shoes to fill | Roegner

Secretary of State Kim Wyman recently announced she will leave her state… Continue reading

Dr. Jayendrina Singha Ray serves as Faculty of English at Highline College. Her research interests include postcolonial studies, spatial literary studies, British literature, and rhetoric and composition. Prior to teaching in the U.S., she worked as an editor with Routledge and taught English at colleges in India.
What the Afghan wants to say: A story of resettlement | Guest column

The wind is strong. It carries the colored leaves of fall to… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
The rest of the story: Sound Transit, Rolovich and Lambert | Roegner

All of the reporters I know are ethical and trustworthy. But I… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
When it comes to power, Washington may be falling behind | Brunell

For years, Washington state masked its high business and regulatory costs with… Continue reading

tsr
Domestic violence victims need more housing options

Column: As a result of stay-at-home measures from the pandemic, domestic violence rates have worsened in King County.

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Why should the threat to Taiwan concern us in WA? | Brunell

Unfortunately, what happens in Taiwan doesn’t just stay in Taiwan — it… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Election 2021: Closer look at King County races | Roegner

The race for Mayor of Seattle will dominate the regional media, but… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Our economy works when consumers pick winners | Brunell

Poland and America are like two trains passing each other in opposite… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Big-time politics: Redistricting for 2022 elections | Roegner

Based on new census data, which shows Washington state has grown by… Continue reading